Wallace Theater

624 W. 31st Street,
Chicago, IL 60616

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Wallace Theater

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Located in the Bridgeport neighborhood on 31st Street near Wallace Street, the Wallace opened in 1912 and operated until 1966. Since 1996, the former theater building has served as a day spa.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

KenC on January 8, 2008 at 10:28 pm

The Wallace theatre was in operation at least through early summer of 1965. From the Chicago Sun Times movie listings on Friday, June 4, 1965: WALLACE 31st- Lowe “TOWER OF LONDON” & “UNDER YUM YUM TREE”.

baslanides on April 17, 2008 at 1:11 pm

My grandfather was the owner of the Wallace theatre. My father and he ran the place, my father being the candy counter guy, projectionist, janitor and maintainence – along with my uncle. I have several pictures from the ticket booth and many ledgers and checks to film companies. They used to tell me stories of how they would turn up the heat during the desert type themed cowboy movies, or put more salt in the ‘corn or shut off the water fountain to get more soda sales. It was Bowry Brothers, Abott and Costello, Stooges and all kids. I have had grown men come to me when I would tell them who my family was and give me vivid recollections of their youth in that theatre.

kencmcintyre on July 16, 2008 at 4:12 pm

This article states that the owner of a spa at 624 W. 31st converted the theater into part of the business in 1996:

baslanides on July 16, 2008 at 5:35 pm

My family sold the building the mid 80’s I believe. Just before that, the theatre portion was split up and rented as stores. One was a hairdresser and the main lobby of the theatre was an electronics store in the day when there weren’t Best Buy and Circuit City. They sold car speakerS, big home stereo speakers, DJ equipment- things like that. As a young kid, it was eerie to go to the back and see an old, empty theatre. I still have some of the seats.

okcray on August 17, 2008 at 2:13 am

I remember the electronics store that was there in the mid-late 70s, and I remember for a while they sold records there too (I think I still have some 45 rpms I bought there). If I remember correctly before the electronics store was there they also used the old vacant theater to sell live Christmas trees (I think my family got one there in 1970).

scrisel on August 30, 2008 at 7:09 pm

I have many memories of the Wallace Theater. Although I did cheat now and then and sneak over to the Ramova on 35th and Halstead, the Wallace remained my childhood favorite! My memory must be poor though, as I remember the Wallace being NEXT to the corner of Lowe and not ON the corner. I have no pics of the old gal, but would love it if anyone out there could post a link to one.

baslanides on August 31, 2008 at 3:36 pm

I have pictures I will post when I get a chance. You are right' though – the theatre was one spot over from the corner but the building itself was one.

mfs3757 on November 7, 2009 at 7:57 pm

I’m writing a book about the history of Bridgeport for Arcadia Publishing and would LOVE a picture or two of the Wallace.

Please contact me if you have any of the Wallace or any Bridgeport theaters (I have the Ramova, The Milda and The Eagle (1991), but would love to see any and all shots of the 12-13 theaters that used to be in the neighborhood.

On a really sad note, Nancy of Nancy’s Best Little Hair House passed away his past week. The Wallace theater building has been for sale for the last few months too.

Look forward to hearaing from you.

Warco on January 16, 2012 at 11:55 am

I spent my entire childhood going to the Wallace theatre. There is a significant day in history, at least for me. I went to the theatre to see Johnny the Giant Killer in June of 1962. They showed a cartoon, a three Stooges short film and the main film. Somewhere along the line, I fell to sleep and was awakened by a friend at 8:00 pm that evening still in my seat. My Dad had been looking for me and wasn’t happy. Anyway, on that day, there was a major Gas Explosion in Crown Point, IN , June 1962 and when I came out of the theatre, the sky was completely orange. That image has stuck in my mine all my life and was directly associated with the Wallace theatre. I knew the owners of the theatre and they reminded me of Laurel and Hardee. One was thin and English looking and the other was the exact opposite, heavier and more business like. Those were glorious days.

chitownt51 on February 4, 2013 at 5:06 pm

I Remember this this theater i live on Lowe i was there every Sunday afternoon i saw the movie called the 13 ghost there

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